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Author: Turk, Evan
Publisher: Antheneum Books for Young Readers
Year Published: 2018
ISBN: 9781481435208
Grades: Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6

heartbeat

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Visually stunning, heartbeat begins in a deep blue ocean with one heart beating in the body of a whale. Soon, the whale becomes pregnant and two heartbeats are connected in the sea of blue. Mother and baby begin to sing and the song flows, filling the ocean with colour. Until a jagged harpoon descends, again and again, and we are left with one heartbeat, the lonely cry of the baby whale.
The baby whale, shifting to a white form eloquent of a ghost, lives through two hundred years of human life, depicted through all of the ways a whale’s body was used for: Oil for lamps, food, lubricant and finally, the sound of a whale song sent out in 1977’s Voyager spacecraft.
Eventually, the ghostly whale hears a sound, a song sung from the deck of a ship by a little girl, and their hearts join into two heartbeats once again.
A dreamy, yet sometimes edgy visual feast of a picture book, this one is best for older readers who can appreciate the themes.

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